Agroecology and climate change in Favelas
The Global Shapers Rio de Janeiro hub partners with Nossa Horta grassroots movement to promote food security, generate income, and climate education through community gardens and greenhouses in low-income communities of Brazilian cities. Our project is based on ancestral agricultural practices and in addition to enabling the production of food for families in greater social vulnerability, they are also capable of promoting better air quality from the planting of trees, better urban ambiance, reduced impact of rains, increased of local biodiversity and community empowerment.
More than 33,1 million people are facing hungry in Brazil and favelas have doubled in size in the last 10 years. With the economic crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half (58,7%) of the Brazilian population suffered from food insecurity in 2022. This project emerged in this scenario with the objective of producing safe, healthy, and accessible food for people, but also going beyond. Promote environmental and climate education, teach people to grow their own food and generate income, have access to space for exchange, strengthen their identity, and reduce the climate risk. Taking children and adults to a public space, to plant together, learn about food, share challenges and face them collectively is the revolution that this project proposes to carry out.
Our project is 100% collective. Each community garden is developed with the participation of local residents. In our first activity with the residents, we analyzed the places where the project can be implemented and which food can be produced in the place according to the soil, the interest of the residents, and the availability to take care of the place on a voluntary basis. Every month there is a large collective action organized by the focal point together with our team. The workshops are developed according to the interests and needs of the residents. If our group does not have the necessary knowledge for the workshop, we look for partners in the neighborhood.
There are many challenges when it comes to building community gardens: the land, the availability of water and seeds, site security, community engagement, and collective management, among others and this grant is the possibility to reduce those negative aspects.
In order for the project to be financially sustainable, each community garden will have a greenhouse for the production and sale of seedlings to vegetable gardens and other interested producers/projects. They will also have the opportunity to use this product to implement new agricultural plantations in the keyhole
The main goals of this project are to consolidate and replicate the methodology of the Nossa Horta grassroots movement for all Brazilian hubs. For that, we will:
- Replicate keyhole gardens in low-income communities of Rio de Janeiro City that volunteers of the movement can not reach, but our hub can. Each keyhole garden can produce safe and organic food for up to 20 families, allowing them to also compost their food waste.
- Strengthen the bank of creole seeds, replicating greenhouses to produce species such as corn, okra, eggplant, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, which were always cultivated the same way, free of any form of hybridization. This type of seeds makes them more resistant to dry seasons and other climate change impacts.
- Spread the culture of using medicinal herbs for care and Non-Conventional Food Plants (PANC), resuming the use of species through the exchange of knowledge between the elderly and youth.
- Encourage the production of fruit trees to sell and generate income for their families.
- Consolidate a report with the methodology to produce and manage the keyhole garden and greenhouses to replicate with other Brazilian hubs.
- One ton of organic food was produced through 5 keyhole gardens and 5 greenhouses implemented with 100 families benefiting directly.
- One report was shared with all 16 Brazilian hubs and at least 2 hubs committed to replication.
- 2 workshops with Brazilian and LATAM shapers to share the process and the results of the project.